Category archives for: Rwanda

Rayon Sports Seal 2016/17 League Title

Photo: Timothy Kisambira/The New Times

Rayon sports players and fans celebrate after beating Mukura Victory Sport to win the 2017 National Premier League.

By Geoffrey Asiimwe

Rayon Sports are 2016/17 Azam Rwanda Premier League Champions following their 2-1 win against Mukura VS, yesterday, at Stade de Kigali.

A brace from Malian striker Mousa Camara was enough to see Rayon claim this season’s title with four matches to spare, ending three years of wait.

The win took Rayon to 67 points, an unassailable 13 ahead of the former champions APR.

Djuma Masudi’s side started the game with aggressiveness in search for an early goal and this yielded them a brilliant free-kick in the 12th minute.

Midfield maestro Pierrot Kwizera curled in a very perfect ball that found Camara set and headed in a powerful ball that went straight at the back of the net sending Rayon fans into wild celebrations.

Camara had missed Rayon’s previous three games through suspension after escaping from the club’s camp without permission.

Despite giving Rayon a tough time during their first-round tie in Huye that ended 1-1, Ivan Minnaert’s Mukura did not pose any real threat in the first half.

Two minutes to half time break, Camara came close to scoring his second goal after a clear pass from Kwizera Pierrot, left him with only goalie Mpazimpaka to beat, however his powerful shot went wide.

The Malian snatched a brace in the 54th minute, his tenth of the season as he dribbled past Mukura VS defenders following a long ball from goalie Eric Ndayishimiye, to comfortably net past Mazimpaka.

However, celebrations in Rayon camp were cut short by Yousouf Habimana in the 56th minute following a brilliant cross from Christopher Ndayishimiye, which he headed in to give Mukura a consolation.

Despite Mukura making scary attempts in the final minutes to equalize, Rayon stood firm and contained them hence winning the game 2-1.

The loss left the Huye-based side Mukura VS ranked ninth with 32 points.

This is Rayon’s eighth league title after winning it in 1975, 1981, 1997, 1998, 2002, 2004, and 2013.

Rayon Sports will represent Rwanda at next year’s Total CAF Champions League. The champions are also still in contention for the Peace Cup title. They will face Police FC in thequarter finalround next month for a place in the semifinals.


Rayon Sport 2-1 Mukura


Govt Expects Over 12000 Returnees By July 2018

At least12,000 Rwandans who still live in foreign countries as refugees could return home between July and June next… Read more »

Nigerian Cyclists Hail African Rising Cycling Centre

By Jejje Muhinde

African Rising Cycling Centre (ARCC), the home of Team Rwanda Cycling has continued to unify African countries as a hub of the continent’s cycling growth.

The observation was made by Nigerian cyclists who have trained at the centre.

“The project offers unique experience in Africa, there is no such rare facility on the continent,” said Nigerian cyclist and captain of CC12 Cycling Club Eyo Effiok, who together with his teammates Abaka Kurotimi and Afis Bakare have trained at the center.

Effiok, who is fascinated with the ARCC, pointed out that having such infrastructure is the reason why cycling is the fastest growing sport in Rwanda.

“I’m not surprised to see Rwandan cyclists developing at a fast rate,” Effiok said, adding that, “This is the reason why cyclists here have managed to reach a high global stage or joined pro-cycling teams across the world.”

On his part, Kurotimi noted, “It is quite a unique project for talent development and detection, the skilled coaches, mechanics and the equipment coupled with latest technology and garage repair.”

The ARCC has attracted other cyclists from countries like Nigeria, Congo Brazzaville, South Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea as well as tourists.

ARRC deputy Technical Director, Richard Mutabazi, who also previously worked as Tour du Rwanda spokesman for six years, says the project is serving its intended purpose.

“We offer accommodation, meals, we have bikes for rent (though riders usually bring theirs), and we have a state of art garage and the best mechanics (USA certified) and the tools, parts as well as bike repair technologies,” he noted.

He further revealed that ARCC has carbon fiber welding technology that is not available anywhere on the continent.

ARRC has a project in pipeline to start making bicycle frames out of bamboo instead of aluminum or carbon fiber so as to make it cheap and affordable for those interested in purchasing.

It was inaugurated in 2014 under the cooperation with the Rwanda Cycling Team, the Rwandan Cycling Federation (FERWACY) and the Ministry of Sports and Culture of Rwanda. It is supported by the International Cycling Union (UCI).

The conglomerate at Musanze district is designed to serve not only Rwandan cyclists, but also teams from other countries to carry out specific training in addition to courses for African coaches, curators and mechanics among the services on offer.


Govt Expects Over 12000 Returnees By July 2018

At least12,000 Rwandans who still live in foreign countries as refugees could return home between July and June next… Read more »

New Deal Seeks to Encourage Investments in Youth Agribusiness

By Elias Hakizimana

Rwanda Youth in Agribusiness Forum (RYAF) has signed a five-year partnership with Ghanaian African Agribusiness Incubation Network (AAIN) to support youth in agribusiness.

The partnership is hinged on encouraging the youth to change their attitude and invest some money before seeking support from other partners as well as mobilising funding for youth agribusinesses.

Alex Ariho, the chief executive of AAIN, said the first capital is information and positive attitude.

“It is important that African youth and, particularly youth in Rwanda, acknowledge that they have got the first capital; the first capital in business is attitude you have toward what you intend to do, the second capital is information,” Ariho said.

“I am happy to hear that the youth here are very active in terms of using ICT. If you are able to use social media, to use journalism to create a positive attitude to investors about investing, the third capital will come when you already have the two fundamental elements of investments: information and positive attitude.”

He identified capital in different forms, including human capital, infrastructure, technology, seed investment and policy framework.

“For the youth to propose or to start businesses and create jobs, they need the four elements. We are committed to that partnership and will achieve it because youth have the four forms of capital,” Ariho said.

He added that their priority in terms of investing in the youth will be to pick the four elements and package them into collaborative framework, between the African Agribusiness Incubator Network and the Government of Rwanda.

Ariho said they will also build youth capacity to learn successful businesses using incubation models particularly mentoring.

“Of course, we also target direct investment in youth trade and investments where we make sure that there is output and input market infrastructure development for the products that are produced by African youth, by the Rwandan youth and consumed there. We will ensure that in the next five to 10 years, we have created a number of jobs and increased income in households, among smallholder farmers, in SMEs and created new businesses,” Ariho noted.

Speaking to the media, Jean Baptiste Hategekimana, the chairperson of RYAF, said the initiative will benefit more than 1,400 youths from the five clusters of the forum by equipping them with skills and other resources.

He said they expected fruitful impact from the agreement with AAIN because the signing comes after they have already begun working together.

“We do believe that with this partnership, we will be able to learn from other youth in Africa and learn through the ways they have passed and succeeded,” Hategekimana said.

“As we are only a year into the forum, these people are experts on the continent and if we can plan a project together to train 200 youth or equip them with other support as well as bringing investors, it will be easy for us to understand the philosophy of success as we will be working with professionals in certain programmes,” Hategekimana said.

Donat Nishyirembere, the in-charge of youth entrepreneurship at the National Youth Council, said the youth can gain from the incubation network to shape their ideas.

“The National Youth Council commits to support this initiative as we believe it will ensure access to the global markets and increase capacity for youth; and they will be able to take their businesses to another level,” said Nishyirembere.

Pacifique Uwineza, the chairperson of chamber for youth entrepreneurs at the Private Sector Federation, said through networking, the youth will learn from each other in terms of job creation.

What We Need to Address the Plight of Midwives

Photo: Dennis Agaba/The New Times

Nurse Esperance Mujawamariya takes care of her patient.

analysisBy Sharon Kantengwa

Stories about midwives usually invoke bad memories for many that have been in the labour ward. But there is also another side of midwives that we rarely get to know. It is a story that brings a smile on expecting mothers. Take for example, the story of Ruth, a mother of one and marketing executive in Kigali.

“The midwife who attended to me was kind and always had a smile on her face every time she entered the delivery room. Being a first time mum, I was worried because of the many horrifying stories I’d heard about midwives. This lady was nothing like that,” says the 31-year-old who requested to be referred to as just Ruth.

The humility and love with which the midwife handled Ruth is a contrast of the beliefs and perceptions about midwives, generally.

Josette Umucyo is a midwife at Muhima District Hospital, and is in charge of the labour ward. With nine years of experience, she has lost count of the number of deliveries conducted. Despite her hands-on experience, helping a woman to deliver is always a lifesaving moment for her and her team that requires them to give their all.

“We take the delivery process as a moment between life and death. Even though it is a joint effort with the mother, we have a bigger hand in this. That is why I put all my mind and energy into it, to ensure that the delivery is successful,” she says.

The plight of the unsung heroes

Despite this life saving role, the work of midwives is sometimes not made any easier.

As Umucyo ushers me into her office, we pass through the labour ward where I catch a glimpse of women waiting for their turn to deliver their babies. Some are all by themselves,calling out in agony because of the painful contractions.

“It’s natural for women to get labour pains but we assist them and teach them ways to reduce the pain and control the anxiety that they may have. We show them how to remain comfortable during those contractions,” Umucyo explains to me.

I did not see any men in the ward and when I inquire why the men aren’t present, Umucyo says, “Sometimes, the men want to experience the moment but they are not given the opportunity because of the limited space in the ward.”

In one of the rooms, four women are waiting to deliver. The midwives who have already conducted nine deliveries have to attend to these too.

The hospital has an estimated 25 deliveries a day, with each shift having only five midwives to attend to all the cases.

“We have only 20 midwives in the labour ward in this hospital and we conduct around 25 deliveries each day,which means that we are supposed to be 70 according to the number of deliveries we conduct each day. Professionally, two midwives are supposed to attend to one mother,” Umucyo says.

Josephine Murekezi, the president of the Rwanda Association of Midwives, says that this poses a threat to the mothers because a midwife is supposed to help the mother from the time of her first antenatal visit to when she gives birth, which does not happen because of the limited number of midwives.

Shortage of midwives?

Andre Gitembagara, the president of the Rwanda Nurses and Midwives Union, reveals that from the required 4,000 midwives, only 1,700 are registered with the council of nurses and midwives and are licensed to practice. Even with the limited number, not all the licensed midwives are in practice.

“We need more midwives, especially in health centres because that is the first point of contact for the mothers. Many of them are in referral, provincial and a few in district hospitals, yet we have 461 health centres,” he says.

Because of the limited number, he further reveals that most of those assisting in deliveries are not actually qualified midwives.

“In many health centres, especially rural areas, we have nurses who will deliver one or two mothers and yet they have to attend to other patients, and that is a big workload. This is why sometimes the A2 nurses (associate nurses) come in to help, yet they are not fully trained,” he says.

Gitembagara adds, “We also have a shortage of nurses yet they also assist the midwives. Some have since joined other business ventures while others are in other educational domains perhaps because of the working conditions. The number of those in practice is pint-sized compared to what we need.”

Murekezi blames this on the little motivation for the midwives in terms of salary and workload.

“This is a profession where we get the same salary, regardless of the experience. There is no promotion yet it is a tiring job,” she says.

She notes that it is a big challenge and a daunting situation especially when the community health workers mobilise expectant mothers to deliver in the hospital and there are not enough midwives there to attend to them,” she says.

What keeps them going?

Despite the challenge, the few that the country has still cling on to their roles and seem passionate about their work. But what keeps them going to serve with a smile?

“I always try my best to focus on the mother and ensure that I help save her life. When I have successful deliveries, I congratulate myself. If my motivation was derived from the salary that I receive, I wouldn’t be here,” Umucyo says.

“I meet a number of mothers regularly who show me the babies I helped them deliver and it gives me joy and a sense of fulfilment. That is my salary,” Umucyo explains.

“When midwives assist in giving birth to a baby successfully, they are happy. This is what motivates us. The ethics we teach also make the midwives passionate. But it becomes worse when they have done something wrong because it is not expected of them,” Murekezi explains.

Prima Uwase, a mother of two, reveals that she has always dreaded delivering her babies from public hospitals because of the ‘unfriendly’ nature some people presume the midwives have.

She prefers having her deliveries done in private hospitals where she is assured of complete attention.

For Umucyo, this is no surprise to her because this should be expected of in the health centres.

“Midwives are said to be rude which is true in some cases. However, due to our overwhelming work we cannot perform to our best capability. We are most times required to alternate our roles to the most vital and urgent ones,” she says.

What needs to be done to solve the problem?

Gitembagara reveals that the country has eight training schools for midwives, which are enough, but the problem lies in retaining them to keep in practice.

As such, he explains that more favourable incentives should be provided to the midwives, especially those working in rural areas.

“The government is doing what needs to be done because we have had progress over the years. However, it should give continuous professional education to those who are already in service as we train the new ones,” Murekezi says.

She explains that the association helps in giving continuous professional development by teaching midwives more professional ways of helping the mother and the new born. It also unites them under cooperatives to save.

While some countries train ‘nurse-midwives’, Gitembagara says that Rwanda plans to adapt to this kind of training in 2020.

“We are harmonising the East African training and we need to train a holistic nurse-midwife where a graduate can be able to provide both nursing and midwifery services.

“This, however, is a long term solution. The mid-term solution is to increase the number of midwives in each health centre with the average deliveries per health centre in mind,” he says.

What it takes to be a midwife

“It just requires the will and the qualification,” Murekezi says.

“We take on those who have passed with two principle passes in Biology and Chemistry in their senior six exams.

“The first year of study in midwifery involves anatomy and physiology combined as a must, and thereafter, they can go for midwifery classes.”

Why should midwives be celebrated?

Every new mother needs at least one person to help her and the baby, to provide proper care for the newborn and also help the mother with day-to-day activities during the days right after birth. Midwives have taken training and acquired the skills to efficiently look after the baby and therefore deserve to be celebrated.

Rebekah Talitha, pharmacist


My first experience was okay with many of the midwives being good to me, assisting me right from antenatal with a few others making some unpleasant remarks about my delivery. All the same, I’m glad they came to my rescue in those tough times.

Blessing Kyshe, businesswoman


The delivery of a baby happens in a space of time where the mother’s life is at stake. The midwives are responsible for this procedure and because they save lives, they should be celebrated. Their profession will be an inspiration to many.

Doreen Umutesi, online marketer


In as much as these midwives derive their joy from saving the new born baby and the mother, they deal with the anxiety of mothers and give tough love where necessary. With their tiring work, I feel they are not being acknowledged enough. Simple gratitude from the parents and the government can motivate them.

Rita Mbabazi, businesswoman

City of Kigali Supports Women Cooperatives

By Olivia Muragijimana

City of Kigali has offered Rwf30 million financial support to 12 women cooperatives, four from each of the city’s three districts, to boost their businesses which have been struggling.

The grant beneficiaries are farming and tailoring cooperatives as well as smallholder businesses operating in the City of Kigali.

Each of the 12 cooperatives was given Rwf2.8 million at a public function on Tuesday.

Aurore Umuhoza, the National Women Council coordinator in the City of Kigali, said: “Most of the cooperatives need support but in each district we only chose four cooperatives. We considered the cooperatives that have all the requirements of Rwanda Cooperatives Agency, have at least spent one year operating as well as those with capital of at least Rwf50,000 of their own and ability to continue work so that this capital we added them is not wasted.”

“Many of the cooperatives were folding, which would lead their members to go back to street vending since most of them were previously street vendors. We hope that this support will propel them to self-reliance and reduce street children since most of these street children come from such families.”

Marie Chantal Musanabera, head of Gikondo-based bakery cooperative called ‘Twiyubake Twihesha Agaciro’, said their cooperative was started by young women who had dropped out of high school.

“We had an idea of running a bakery business but we didn’t have enough money. Now it’s a dream come true as this support is a great boost,” she told The New Times.

Languid Nyirabahire, Gasabo vice mayor in charge of social affairs, said the grant is part of efforts to solve the problem street vending.


Govt Expects Over 12000 Returnees By July 2018

At least12,000 Rwandans who still live in foreign countries as refugees could return home between July and June next… Read more »

Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi Presents Her Credentials to the President of Ireland

Her Excellency Ms. Yamina Karitanyi, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to Ireland, presented her Letters of Credence to The President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, at a formal ceremony held at Áras an Uachtaráin.

The presentation marked the official assumption of duties as Non-Resident Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to Ireland. The Ambassador was received at Iveagh House in Dublin and escorted to Áras an Uachtaráin by an Escort of Honour consisting of a motorcycle detachment drawn from the 2nd Cavalry Squadron, Cathal Brugha Barracks, Dublin, under the command of Lieutenant Stephen Bunney.

A Guard of Honour was provided at Áras an Uachtaráin by the Naval Service, Haulbowline, Cork under the command of Sub-Lieutenant Eoin Mackey, and was welcomed warmly by The President of Ireland. During the ceremony, the Ambassador presented her Letters of Credence to The President, who then accredited her as the Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to Ireland.

The Ambassador thanked The President of Ireland for the audience and conveyed greetings and best wishes from H.E President Paul Kagame, expressing the desire to further strengthen a positive relationship and partnership between Rwanda and Ireland. The President, in turn, conveyed his best regards to H.E President Kagame and to the people of Rwanda.

The Ambassador was accompanied by Mr. Fidelis Mironko, First Counsellor, and other guests at the credentials ceremony included Ms. Marcella Corcoran-Kennedy T.D., Minister for Health Promotion, who represented the Government of Ireland at the Ceremony, Mr. Art O’Leary, Secretary-General to the President, Col. Michael Kiernan, Aide-de-Camp to the President, Mr. James Kingston, Assistant Secretary, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

H.E. Ms. Yamina Karitanyi later hosted a Vin d’Honneur at the O’Callaghan Mont Clare Hotel, Dublin, which was attended by several Ambassadors from friendly states, officials from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, members of the Civic Society, NGO’s, Friends of Rwanda and members of the Rwandese community in Ireland.

Speaking on behalf of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland, Ms Paula Kenny, Desk Officer at the Development Cooperation Division, congratulated the Ambassador on her accreditation and, spoke positively of Rwanda’s transformation and continued progress, particularly praising Rwanda’s Economic development, its leadership in Women Empowerment and its peacekeeping initiatives.

Ms Kenny added that her department is proud to work with a stable, strategic and progressive partner, and that the strong bilateral relations between Ireland and Rwanda are based on shared values and priorities. She also assured the Ambassador that Ireland, through its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, will offer its full support to Her Excellency throughout her tour of duty.

Addressing the guests, the Ambassador pledged to work tirelessly during her tour of duty to ensure that the solid collaboration between the two nations, which has had a positive impact on Rwanda over the years, continue to grow. Speaking on Rwanda’s transformation, Her Excellency reminded guests that many of the successes achieved thus far are thanks to home-grown solutions and good partnerships.

She said that the lessons from Rwanda’s heavy past “have given us [Rwandans] the resolve, tenacity and resilience that has brought the nation as far as it has come today”, and that with a clear vision of to make it a middle-income country by 2020; driven by a capable and responsive state, supported by a knowledge-based economy, the sky is the limit to how much Rwanda can achieve along with its partners.

The Ambassador noted that there is a growing engagement of Irish companies doing great work in Rwanda, such as Bewley’s Tea, the Healy Group, the International Computer Driving Licence, who’s African hub is based in Kigali, Traidlinks, adding that Rwanda expects the number of visitors and trade between the two countries to grow following the introduction of direct flights from Kigali to London Gatwick, with a short connection to Dublin, Ireland. The Ambassador invited tourists and investors to visit Rwanda, and take advantage of the eased access to the country.

The Ambassador closed by proposing a toast for the good health of The President of Ireland and for the continued strong bilateral relationship between Ireland and Rwanda.

Disi Tips Local Athletes to End Kenyan Dominance

Retired long distance and cross country runner Dieudonné Disi has challenged local athletes to roll up their sleeves and end a decade -long jinx at the Kigali International Peace Marathon ahead of the 2017 edition set for Sunday.

Started in 2005, as a way to use sports in the healing and reconciliation process after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and a medium to spread peace beyond the borders, the Kigali International Peace Marathon has grown into one of the region’s prestigious events.

However, Rwandan athletes have remained minnows in their own race, with Kenyans dominating it year after year.

Disi, now 36, who won gold in the men’s half marathon in 2006, has challenged the current crop of athletes to up their game.

Since 2006, no other Rwandan has won either the full or half marathon, in both men and women categories.

“Our athletes should get rid of the myth that Kenyans are born winners, if you are going to race against a Kenyan why do you feel they will finish in front of you even before the race has started, if you get tired in the midst of the race don’t give up, you should instead know that he (Kenyan) is a human being and might also get tired,” said Disi in an exclusive interview with Times Sport.

Rwanda’s most decorated long and middle distance runner, advised that, “Team work is crucial for them to win, they need to work together along the course, give each other pace and one, not all of them, should pick water for all of them in order not to lose time and then towards the finish, the stronger one, can sprint.”

In 2015, Jean Baptiste Ruvubi came close to making history in full marathon but fell short to finish second behind Kenya’s Ezekial Omullo Kemboi (2:18:15), who finished 48 seconds ahead of the Gicumbi-born runner.

Last year, fast-rising female athlete Salome Nyirarukundo also came close to winning the women half marathon but also had to settle for second in a race that was won by Kenyan Anges Jeruto.

According to the organizers, Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF), this year’s edition is expected to attract about 6,000 athletes from across the world.


Govt Expects Over 12000 Returnees By July 2018

At least12,000 Rwandans who still live in foreign countries as refugees could return home between July and June next… Read more »

How Rwanda Can Leverage Financial Technology to Drive Inclusion

By Julius Bizimungu

A two-day conference dubbed, “Dot Finance Africa,” opened in Kigali yesterday with experts in finance and information technology sectors calling for leveraging of financial technology (FinTech) to drive financial inclusion.

The second edition of the Dot Finance Africa (DFA) conference is one of the largest gatherings of financial technology professionals.

It brings together more than 500 financial industry leaders from 60 countries. It is being held under the theme, “Transforming Africa for the FinTech Age.”

Speaking during the opening ceremony at the Kigali Convention Centre, Dr Diane Karusisi, the chief executive of Bank of Kigali, said digital services are raising the competitive bar in every sector of the economy, one of which is the banking field.

Karusisi added that FinTech has unprecedented role in driving financial services.

“Financial services field is among sectors set to be disrupted by digital innovations in Africa and worldwide. FinTech is not disrupting traditional financial services providers but complementing them to meet needs of unbanked population. It is playing a significant role as facilitator of economic growth to transform Africa,” she said.

“As a banker, I see huge opportunities in FinTech solutions, which will harness new technologies to lower transaction costs. With digital innovations, we can also deal with inefficiencies in several value chains especially in agriculture. Banks also have a chance to tap into big data to improve product offering and access to credit for SMEs, consumers.”

While advances in digital financial services are promoting inclusion and creating new opportunities for many people in Africa who are still excluded from access to formal financial services, experts underscored the need for financial services operators to develop customer-centric innovations.

Lucy Mbabazi, the country manager of Visa, said it is critical for financial services operators to innovate around the customer needs as financial services sector continues to be disrupted.

“Every technology innovation can be promising, but those that are interoperable, consumer-centric, secure, and tap into the power of mobile phones, are more promising. As FinTech is driving financial services, operators need to innovate around the needs of the people,” she said during a panel discussion.

Benjamin Nyakeriga, the chief development officer at the Development Bank of Rwanda, said that while banks are currently undergoing massive shifts as technology advances, more services and products are being created.

Yves Eonnet, the chief executive of TagPay, a mobile financial service platform helping mobile money providers reach millions, said FinTech is creating challenges as it disrupts traditional value-chain and business models, and new mechanisms should be devised to ensure consumer-protection in a rapidly-changing technology environment.

He urged banks to play an important role to facilitate digital payments and transactions in their local economies in order to drive financial inclusion.

Experts indicated that having such big conferences gives them a platform to share experiences and learn from other players to really step up digital capabilities, as well as create more partnerships with different countries.

Govt Expects Over 12000 Returnees By July 2018

Photo: IOM/UN

Rwandan returnees from Tanzania (file photo).

By Eugene Kwibuka

At least12,000 Rwandans who still live in foreign countries as refugees could return home between July and June next year as a result of implementation of the Cessation Clause, officials at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) have said.

The estimate was revealed, yesterday, by Minister Seraphine Mukantabana while appearing before the parliamentary Standing Committee on National Budget and Patrimony to present MIDIMAR’s Budget Estimates for Financial Year 2017/18.

The minister said December 31 being the deadline by which Rwandan refugees who fled their country before December 31, 1998, will no longer be considered as refugees, a massive homecoming by returnees should be expected during the next fiscal year that starts in July and end in June next year.

“Because December 31 is the very last date, they may consider it as serious and decide to come home. We have advised the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning to set aside as much money as possible to be able to receive and reintegrate every Rwandan who will come home,” she told journalists shortly after meeting with the MPs.

Under the Cessation Clause, the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, has been working with governments across the world to implement a strategy of bringing to proper closure the situation of Rwandan refugees who fled the country before December 31, 1998.

The strategy for invoking the clause contains four components to ensure that Rwandans who fall under the category no longer claim to be refugees, including their voluntary repatriation, local integration in host countries, retention of refugee status for people still in need of international protection, and the invocation of the cessation clause, which would see them lose refugee status.

Inside the Cessation Clause

The UNHCR defines cessation clauses as built into the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1969 Organisation of African Unity Refugee Convention, which provide for refugee status to end once fundamental and durable changes have taken place in the country of origin and the circumstances that led to flight no longer exist.

In the case of Rwanda, UNHCR has recommended that cessation come into effect from June 30, 2013, but the deadline has since been postponed several times until the latest one, which is due on December 31, 2017.

Both Rwandan and UNHCR officials in the country say the current social, political, and security conditions in the country are favourable enough for Rwandan refugees to return home.

“The situation in Rwanda is perfect. Refugees should come back home. There won’t be postponement of the Cessation Clause,” said UNHCR country representative Saber Azam at a news conference in December.

MIDIMAR officials estimate that at least 245,000 Rwandans could be still living as refugees across 20 countries in the world with a large number of them believed to be in DR Congo.

Ministry’s Budget Estimate

The majority of current Rwandan refugees left the country as a result of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and some 3.4 million citizens have since been repatriated.

Unlike in the current fiscal year when MIDIMAR had planned that 20,000 former refugees would be repatriated and integrated into society even though about 4,800 have come home so far, it has planned for 12,000 returnees in the next financial year.

“We plan for these numbers but they could increase or decrease because returnees come back on a voluntary basis. All we pledge is that the Government will afford to reintegrate every Rwandan who will return,” Minister Mukantabana said.

MIDIMAR has asked Parliament to approve slightly over Rwf42 million in line with reintegrating the returnees during the next fiscal year and also asked the Ministry of Finance to plan for standby funds just in case of a higher influx of returnees.

In total, the disaster management ministry has asked the Government to allocate slightly over Rwf4.5 billion for its operations in the next fiscal year, which will also include the management of thousands of foreign refugees hosted in the country, as well as the reduction of risks for natural disasters and response when they strike unexpectedly.

Ciney On Her Wedding, Music Career and Possible Ventures

By Donata Kiiza

Aisha Uwimana, commonly known as Ciney is officially married. Ciney and her longtime partner, Ronald Tumusiime made their relationship official in a colourful civil marriage.

This was in the Kimihurura sector on Friday, May 12, just a month after Tumusiime asked Ciney for her hand in marriage during the ‘Seka Live’ comedy show.

According to Ciney, the proposal came as a surprise as there were no signs of it.

The rapper said, “As women, we shall always be ready when it comes to marriage. I am excited about this whole thing.”

Ciney and her engineer fiancé have been dating for around four and half years now.

Their wedding preparations are in progress and in July, the couple will exchange vows at St. Etienne Anglican Church in Nyamirambo.

“The wedding will be big as there will be no limitations for people to attend. It will be memorable for my friends and family,” she said.

Ciney also reacted to pregnancy rumours saying that she is old enough and has no reason to hide such good news.

She also cleared the air about reports that she had abandoned her music career for fashion saying that was never true.

“I am working on a clothing line but that will never be a reason for me to leave my music career,” the rapper said.

She is currently working on a few music videos that she plans to release before July this year.


Govt Expects Over 12000 Returnees By July 2018

At least12,000 Rwandans who still live in foreign countries as refugees could return home between July and June next… Read more »

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